There is a pervasive, deeply running digital marketing talent gap – a substantial difference between what employers value and what talent is available. While 71% of large brand/enterprise organizations believe their digital marketing team is strong in some areas, their employees exhibit mediocrity/ weakness in others when importance and strength are analyzed together, with sizeable gaps in every area studied.
There is a shift underway in the industry toward specialists with various levels of expertise. While 34% of brands look for both generalist and specialists, 22% say the need for specialists is growing. Of greatest importance are specialists in analytics, email, content marketing, mobile marketing and social media, yet skill strength in all areas is largely verified through highly subjective criteria.
Employers perceive spotty levels of knowledge, skill level and experience – there is a need for talent at each level (entry, mid-tier and executive), with knowledge and skill gaps observed in the most crucial areas. Brands are in particular need of entry-level social media marketers, and mid-tier managers in content marketing, web analytics, and content marketing.
Significant challenges in locating talent results in a lack of consistency – a heavy reliance on referrals leads to hires based on subjectivity, without any industry standards or consistency indicated in performance expectations.
- 70% of large enterprises and 75% of agencies rely on referrals from other professionals to meet their hiring needs.
- More than one-third of respondents have not hired in the past year because they are overwhelmed by the various sources available and cannot identify a “go-to” resource for talent.
This talent gap threatens to undermine organizational achievement and career satisfaction. However, those who commit to ramping up the proper talent development programs, with effective education, implementation of measurable standards, and focused training and hiring practices will ultimately win market share and achieve desired business outcomes.